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OT how do i record a tv show?

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  • OT how do i record a tv show?

    Since there is so much knowledge here I'm hopeing for a good answer.
    I have ota tv. I want to record a news show everyday when I'm not home. How do I do it for free without a subscription?
    What do I need to purchase?
    My tvs are hd digital.
    I don't want to use my internet connection or pc. I don't leave the pc on continuously.
    Basically I need an old vcr. Which I have but they don't work anymore.
    Last edited by ahidley; 03-13-2017, 07:03 PM.

  • #2
    Pick a PVR and look up the owner's manual before you buy and check for suitability on hooking up to an antenna as opposed to cable or internet. If it has connections and instructions for OTA broadcast TV then you know that is one which you can use. After that it's just learning the steps to get it to record what you want and when.

    Alternately if you can go to a big box store to buy what you are after then just snag one of the sales folks and put the task on them to provide you with options for PVR's that will handle OTA broadcasts.

    The PVR I was supplied by my carrier is very specific to their service and has no other input options. So I can't suggest it. It's a few years old anyway so you likely can't buy that model any longer anyhow.
    Last edited by BCRider; 03-13-2017, 07:05 PM.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #3
      In the past it was routine to use a VCR with it's own tuner connected directly to the antenna cable. The TV would be connected to an RF output and tuned to channel 3 or 4. Most VCRs had built-in programmable timers for recording at desired times, and days.

      Don't know what the solid-state equivalent is nowadays as I still have a couple of VCRs.
      Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
      ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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      • #4
        That would be the PVR's (Personal Video Recorders). There's a hard drive in most of them that stores the information. Most hold about 12 to 18 hours of programming before you need to delete something.... well, that's what it used to be. Likely more like a few hundred hours now.

        There are also DVR's or Digital Video Recorders. That used to mean that you cut the video to a blank recordable DVD. But often the recorder has a built in hard drive to capture the shows with an option of cutting it to a blank DVD.
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          I bought a CIA special, aka Samsung tv, it records onto usb sticks, however I bought a second one in case they wanted to listen in the bedroom but found sticks recorded downstairs won't play on the other tv, arse, tucked up (in bed) by technology again.
          Mark

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          • #6
            TiVo records OTA... buy one, watch what you want when you want, and never see an Ad again.
            Last edited by lakeside53; 03-13-2017, 11:08 PM.

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            • #7
              Does the OTA tivo require a subscription like the other models do?

              An alternative for this specific use (one channel once a day) IS to use an old style VCR with a digital converter. The converter is widely available from places like Best Buy. (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/tv-video...d=abcat0104000 )

              For about $200 you can get a dual tuner digital recorder (same link at Best Buy) that will record OTA signals.

              Dan
              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

              Location: SF East Bay.

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              • #8
                Sign up with DirecTV or dish or cable

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ahidley View Post
                  Since there is so much knowledge here I'm hopeing for a good answer.
                  I have ota tv. I want to record a news show everyday when I'm not home. How do I do it for free without a subscription?
                  What do I need to purchase?
                  My tvs are hd digital.
                  I don't want to use my internet connection or pc. I don't leave the pc on continuously.
                  Basically I need an old vcr. Which I have but they don't work anymore.
                  You might be able to use your PC and not lose your PC. There was a Windows-based DVR program called GB-PVR I used for a while that I recall let me use the computer while it was recording. I think maybe the Hauppauge software included another form of that. I went with the dedicated box several years ago and have never regretted it!

                  If you have an old VCR, your tuner probably won't work. They have just the standard tuner and not a digital one. You'll need a converter box and as long as you're recording the same channel it'll probably work fine. If you want to record multiple channels, things get harder. Basically, you have to program the converter box to change channels at certain times and not all of them do it. I have a couple of the ones that do, and a VCR/DVR/DVD Writer that's been sitting on the shelf for a couple years.

                  You may not need to purchase anything yet, I'd rather see equipment I'm not using go to someone who wants it rather than watch it rot on a shelf. Maybe we could work out a trade.

                  The superior solution is a Hauppague WinTV-HVR-2200 card (you can use other cards, but it's important that the card does MPEG encoding on the card and doesn't offload to your CPU) and dedicated PC running MythTV with Internet access and Schedules Direct subscription* This will give you the ability to tune automatically to any OTA channel, record whatever you want to watch, automatically schedule according to your priorities and reschedule to avoid conflicts. It also checks all of your "do not want" boxes. The clock sets automatically as well, so time change or clock drift isn't a big deal. Once set up, it's pretty much a "just enjoy it" deal. (We're also talking $100-300 investment, plus $25 annually.)

                  *This is for the program guide data, the EPG data your TV gets from the station usually only tells what's on now.

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                  • #10
                    I use a ChannelMaster DVR to record OTA programming. Get the 1TB drive with it and you will be able to record many, many hours of TV. Program it to record stuff in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. Pause live TV while recording another show. In case you can't tell, I like mine. I have two of them and no cable bills!
                    No subscription fees!

                    http://www.channelmaster.com/Antenna_DVR_s/336.htm

                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      It appears as the channel master dvr+ is exactly what would work. But $300 is way too much.

                      The pvr is interesting but I'm still confused what they actually do. I need a timmer built in it.

                      TiVo requires a subscription

                      I don't want to use a pc.

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                      • #12
                        Perhaps reconsider the use of a pc? An old, essentially valueless (dedicated) pc, a cheap tuner card, and there you go. Windows 7 and 8 have 'media center' built in, which works fantastically. It is easy to set up and use, is very powerful, the program guide is free and you just point and click on what you want to record. Of course you can pause live tv and all of that other neat stuff too. The computer wakes up just before the recording and goes back to sleep when done. If you don't record everything in HD, even a small HDD will hold a ton of programing.
                        An older computer and large monitor is what we have been using for our tv for many years. It is very easy to use, works extremely well, and hasn't cost a dime except for the initial (relatively minor) expense of the tuner card.
                        BTW, for anybody considering a similar setup as their main tv, a dual tuner card is a must, so you can watch one channel while recording on another.
                        Location: North Central Texas

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                        • #13
                          You don't need a subscription to tivo for OTA.

                          From Tivo's web site :

                          The TiVo Roamio OTA DVR was built for those looking for a cable experience on antenna TV. It works with any HD antenna, delivers one terabyte of recording capacity (150 HD hours), has SkipMode™ and QuickMode™ and also integrates all your streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora and more. Best of all, it’s now available without a monthly TiVo service fee. Pay once and the rest is all free-TV gravy.

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                          • #14
                            I record OTA with a Phillips DVD recorder that has both analog and digital receivers, no problems at all. Stu

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Weston Bye View Post
                              In the past it was routine to use a VCR with it's own tuner connected directly to the antenna cable. The TV would be connected to an RF output and tuned to channel 3 or 4. Most VCRs had built-in programmable timers for recording at desired times, and days.

                              Don't know what the solid-state equivalent is nowadays as I still have a couple of VCRs.
                              I neglected to mention what Puckdropper pointed out:
                              If you have an old VCR, your tuner probably won't work. They have just the standard tuner and not a digital one. You'll need a converter box and as long as you're recording the same channel it'll probably work fine.
                              However, I found that my converter boxes turn themselves off after a certain number of hours of inactivity (channel changes, etc).
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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